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verb \ˈgrasp\

Simple Definition of grasp

  • : to take and hold (something) with your fingers, hands, etc.

  • : to understand (something that is complicated or difficult)

Full Definition of grasp

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to make the motion of seizing :  clutch

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 :  to take or seize eagerly

  5. 2 :  to clasp or embrace especially with the fingers or arms

  6. 3 :  to lay hold of with the mind :  comprehend

grasp·able play \ˈgras-pə-bəl\ adjective
grasp·er noun
grasp at straws
  1. :  to reach for or try anything in desperation

grasp the nettle
  1. :  to act boldly

Examples of grasp

  1. I grasped the end of the rope and pulled as hard as I could.

  2. I grasped the rope by its end.

  3. His arthritis is so bad he can barely grasp a pencil.

Origin of grasp

Middle English graspen

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of grasp

take, seize, grasp, clutch, snatch, grab mean to get hold of by or as if by catching up with the hand. take is a general term applicable to any manner of getting something into one's possession or control <take some salad from the bowl>. seize implies a sudden and forcible movement in getting hold of something tangible or an apprehending of something fleeting or elusive when intangible <seized the suspect>. grasp stresses a laying hold so as to have firmly in possession <grasp the handle and pull>. clutch suggests avidity or anxiety in seizing or grasping and may imply less success in holding <clutching her purse>. snatch suggests more suddenness or quickness but less force than seize <snatched a doughnut and ran>. grab implies more roughness or rudeness than snatch <grabbed roughly by the arm>.

Rhymes with grasp




Simple Definition of grasp

  • : a usually strong hold

  • : an understanding of something

  • : the distance that can be reached by your arms and hands

Full Definition of grasp

  1. 1 a :  handle b :  embrace

  2. 2 :  hold, control

  3. 3 a :  the reach of the arms b :  the power of seizing and holding or attaining <success lay within their grasp>

  4. 4 :  mental hold or comprehension especially when broad <a remarkable grasp of the subject>

Examples of grasp

  1. The author shows a weak grasp of military strategy.

  2. The books on the top shelf are just beyond my grasp.

  3. She moved the toy to within the baby's grasp.

  4. She felt the solution was within her grasp.


First Known Use of grasp


Seen and Heard

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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